Creating Market Economy in Eastern Europe — страница 5
the state may provide no procedural guidelines whatever as to how the issues should be resolved in this procedural vacuum, the economic rights in question may simply be expropriated by whichever party - typically the current management - is strategically located to do so. Relative to the general trend that appears to be emerging in Central and Eastern Europe, there should be made opportunities for decentralized negotiation. Our process-oriented perspective does suggest an indirect, "hand off" way to exercise some control over this phase of the process, the government can introduce some checks and balances into the negotiations. For example, of the three "primary" parties at the bargaining table-management, employees of the enterprise, and the state agency responsible for privatization - the first two parties have every incentive to design privatization plans that inhibit competitive pressures, while the third will inevitably be more concerned this effecting a successful sale of the enterprise than with issues such as the competitiveness of the resulting market structure. From the standpoint of the public interest then the outcome of multilateral bargaining is bound to be sub-optimal, provided that participation in the process is restricted to the three primary parties. Moreover, the directions in which these outcomes will deviate from the optimal are more or less predictable. The Multilateral Bargaining model provides a useful analytical tool for investigating the effectiveness of this approach to policy making. In other contexts, the multilateral Bargaining model has been used descriptively to explain how during the process of multilateral negotiation, coalitions are formed, deals are struck, and compromises are reached. 5) Political economy. A second basic premise is that any policy recommendations must be both economically and politically consistent. This consistency requires a specification of the relationship between short-term economic developments and longer-term political ramifications. Obviously, economic policy objectives cannot be pursued in isolation, since the prevailing political configuration will constrain the set of options available to planners of the transition process. On the other hand, economic post-privatization economy develops, new interests will acquire economic power and new institutions will emerge to strengthen the power of groups that wish to defend these institutions. The dynamic interaction between these economic and political facets of massive privatization programs must be taken into account. Indeed, one can expect that models, which ignore political economic feedback effects, will have a natural tendency to overestimate the prospects for a successful transition. The following example illustrates the kind of political-economic interaction that could adversely affect the reform process. Policy makers in Central and Eastern Europe appear to be overly complacent in their reliance of foreign competition as the main disciplinary device that will force monopolists to operate efficiently. Indeed, Polish officials cite their country’s liberal tradition in the area of trade policy when questioned about the viability of this approach to antimonopoly policy. Our dynamic political-economic perspective leads to skepticism about this heavy dependence on competition from abroad. If a seems very likely, the post-privatization industrial structure turns out to be highly over-concentrated and inefficient, then the main effect of threatening foreign competition will be to unleash a powerful confluence of political forces in favor of protectionism. Owners of the domestic enterprises will lobby to defend their rents, managers will lobby to defend privileges, and workers will lobby to defend their jobs. Because the problem of unemployment never really arose under communism, the potent tension between introducing free trade and maintaining employment levels never became apparent. 2.2. Poland and Hungary as the best example of transition in the East Europe Economic Reform in Eastern Europe: The Background The background of economic reform in Eastern Europe is not unlike that in the Soviet Union, even though, as I have emphasized, the setting is rather different. The brief political thaw following the death of Stalin in the early 1950s did permit a freer discussion of ideas, which, along with growing problems of economic performance, led to limited attempts to develop and implement economic reform. Initially, these changes were modest in scope, and they typically followed the Soviet reform pattern: Try to improve decision making while preserving socialist objectives and the essence of the planning system.